According to Wojnarowski, the two sides had been working on an agreement that would give Daniels a chance to find an opportunity with a new team, with the Lakers opening up a spot on their 15-man roster. Head coach Frank Vogel, confirming the move, said that releasing Daniels was a “very, very tough decision” for the Lakers, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link).
“(Lakers executives) Rob (Pelinka) and Kurt (Rambis) were fantastic in giving Troy optionality based upon all the scenarios that could play out in the coming weeks,” Bartelstein told Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
Daniels, 28, signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract with Los Angeles last summer and played a modest role for the Lakers, averaging 4.2 PPG and 1.1 RPG on .392/.357/.625 shooting in 41 games (11.1 MPG). The veteran wing was considered a strong locker-room presence, but wasn’t part of the rotation as of late, having logged just 10 minutes in the Lakers' last six games, including four DNP-CDs.
March 1 is the last day that a player can be waived and retain his postseason eligibility. Since Daniels is being released Sunday, he can still participate in the playoffs if he signs with a new team between the time he clears waivers and the end of the regular season.
As for the Lakers, Vogel said Sunday that they don’t have any specific player lined up for their newly opened roster spot, per Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Still, having an opening on the 15-man roster will give the Lakers some options. Our look at the 2020 buyout market includes a few names that may be of interest to the Lakers.
Wojnarowski confirms (via Twitter) that LA still intends to meet with Dion Waiters this week, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be the one replacing Daniels on the roster. Woj suggests Pelinka will be patient, since the Lakers may want to retain their roster flexibility in case an injury occurs down the stretch.
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